Changing the role of workplace design within the business organisation: A model for linking workplace design solutions to business strategies

Arnold Craig Levin (Design Principal and Director, Center for Workplace Innovation, Mancini Duffy, 1627 K Street, NW, 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20006, USA)

Journal of Facilities Management

ISSN: 1472-5967

Publication date: 1 December 2005


With the continuous changing nature of work and increasing demands on business organisations to remain competitive and to continually innovate, while controlling ever increasing real estate costs, the role of the workplace remains the battle ground between an organisation's cost savings strategy, its efforts to retain the status quo, serve as a facilitator of change and stand as a visual statement of the brand. While organisations continue to build facilities that range from newer adaptations of their previous model to what some may deem radical departures with the goal of creating new ways of working, the selection of what course of planning direction to take is still often left to a methodology that is removed from the long‐term strategic objectives of the organisation. Even organisations wishing to use the workplace as an enabler of transformation rely on the imagery of more open and collaborative work areas as the basis for change. Rarely is a connection made to the business strategy and business model of the organisation. Recognising that no matter what the organisational model, work processes are becoming more and more collaborative in nature, businesses appear to be confusing the design of collaborative workspaces with connections to a business strategy. This has created a vacuum in the perception of the role of the workplace within the business organisation and on the way in which workplace‐planning concepts are developed by design consultants. This paper attempts to identify the underlying issues that differentiate workplace design from workplace design strategies and to present a new way of developing these strategies that will change the perceived role of the workplace within the organisation.



Levin, A. (2005), "Changing the role of workplace design within the business organisation: A model for linking workplace design solutions to business strategies", Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 3 No. 4, pp. 299-311.

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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